Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The awful truth

I suspect that if you read this blog, you are either a close personal friend of mine, or you are interested in comics and, perhaps, would even like to make comics some day. If you are in the latter category, I have some advice for you: get on twitter. Then, start following the plethora of comics professionals who post there. Mixed in with the usual banal offerings -- i.e., what folks had for lunch, their opinions about the latest bit of pop culture phenomenon, etc. -- these folks will often dispense pearls of wisdom related to the business and art of comics.

To whit: Dark Horse Comics editor, and my former boss, Scott Allie, replied to someone asking how a writer can break into the comics business. I liked the advice so much, I decided to steal it.

Here's what Scott has to say on the subject:

Start with the small press or online. Comics writers can't know how to write comics until ...

... they've seen their stuff drawn, even if only badly. I wanna see your stuff drawn, and know you've seen it drawn ...

...before I take your pitches seriously. So get some comics done, learn it that way, and then you'll be ready. Then ...

...show me or Marvel or DC the best of that, and even if the art's weak, we can assess your skills. If it's great ...

...it can find an audience through the web or the small press, and put you in demand even before you're pitching to me.

Or start a hugely successful rock band.

Scott is the editor of Hellboy and Buffy and other very successful comics and he knows of what he speaks. He has a lot to teach folks who''l take the time to listen. As my former boss, he taught me that comics will break your heart, but that one should only cry if one won't be seen by anyone else.

Good times.

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